No Bus Éireann strike threat but unions to consult on crisis

Shane Ross says there are no plans to axe six to eight routes or privatise the company

Bus Éireann reported losses of €5.6m last year, and is projecting a €6m deficit this year, most of which is understood to stem from its commercial Expressway intercity service. Photograph: Eric Luke

Bus Éireann reported losses of €5.6m last year, and is projecting a €6m deficit this year, most of which is understood to stem from its commercial Expressway intercity service. Photograph: Eric Luke

 

There are no immediate plans for strikes at Bus Éireann over pay or moves to address the serious financial position at the State-owned transport company.

Unions representing the 2,600 staff said they would engage in extensive consultations with members before any move towards industrial action.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross told the Dáil that while the serious financial challenges facing Bus Éireann should be be tackled decisively and effectively, there were no plans to axe six to eight routes or privatising the company.

The Minister is understood to have told the Cabinet on Tuesday that Bus Éireann was facing insolvency within two years unless difficult decisions were made.

Bus Éireann reported losses of €5.6 million last year, and is projecting a €6 million deficit this year, most of which is understood to stem from its commercial Expressway intercity service.

The company, meanwhile, is expected to announce further senior management changes in coming days as it prepares to address the financial crisis.

Unions at the company have dismissed as “ludicrous” any suggestion that the Government, the the sole shareholder in Bus Éireann, would not be involved in any talks on a survival plan for the company.

Pay increases

Labour Court

Siptu and the National Bus and Rail Union said in a joint statement that they would engage in an “extensive consultation process with members at Bus Éireann in advance of any decision on industrial action”.

“It is nothing short of disgrace that a State-owned company would show such contempt to the Labour Court and its own employees as that which was demonstrated on Tuesday last when Bus Éireann refused to engage with the industrial relations mechanism’s norms associated with such pay disputes,” the unions said.

The statement said the financial situation at Bus Éireann could only be resolved by all the stakeholders“coming to the table with a firm commitment to resolve this crisis”.

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